US Vice President Harris to visit Minnesota abortion clinic in historic first

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 11:40 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday will visit a health clinic that offers abortion services during a trip to Minnesota, spotlighting growing restrictions on women’s rights that Democrats believe will animate voters in November.

The visit comes as U.S. President Joe Biden highlights abortion rights as a key issue ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Democrats think personal freedoms could be a key issue for women, independents and other key voters after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade abortion rights in 2022. Harris has held more than 80 public meetings on the topic since then.

Biden and Harris have both stepped up campaign travel since former President Donald Trump – whose appointment of three conservative judges to the nation’s highest court preceded the abortion decision – dominated the Republican party’s primary races.

“While at the health center, Vice President Harris will walk through the facility with the clinic provider, speak with staff, and hear how Minnesota has been impacted by extreme abortion bans in other states that threaten women’s health, force them to travel out of state to receive care, and criminalize doctors,” said a White House official.

A spokesperson for Harris declined to provide the name of the facility due to security reasons but said it is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and that it provides a range of care including birth control and preventative wellness services.

Last year, Minnesota signed a statute protecting the right to abortion in state law. The Biden administration has warned that a federal law restricting abortions could override that statute.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; editing by Jonathan Oatis)